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Henry B. González: 1916-2000: Congressman Biography

Worked To Improve The West Side, Entered Public Office, Filibustered On Segregation Legislation, Became A U.s. Representative In Congress

Henry B. González: 1916-2000: Congressman.

Henry Barbosa González of Texas served 18 consecutive terms as a U.S. Representative in Congress, from 1961 to 1998. Known as a maverick, he commanded the respect of both his friends and his enemies. His early stance against segregation made him a hero among first generation Mexican-Americans. In 1957, when he was a Texas State Senator, he filibustered for more than 22 hours to protest pending legislation that would limit the scope of desegregation.

González was born in San Antonio, Texas, on May 3, 1916. His parents, Leonides and Genoveva (Barbosa) González, had fled Mexico in 1911 to escape the violence of the revolution. Leonides had previously been the mayor of the town of Mapimi in the Mexican state of Durango, as well as a successful businessman. He became a journalist in San Antonio, eventually becoming the managing editor of La Prensa, at that time the only Spanish-language newspaper in the United States. The young González helped support his family, which included five other siblings, by taking on odd jobs when he was in elementary school.

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